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Pss Pss

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About the Show

Two modern-day clowns take the stage for a breathtaking comedy of errors inspired by Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and the stars of silent films. Combining slapstick, clowning, acrobatics, and aerial work, Swiss duo Compagnia Baccalà reflects on the human condition without uttering a word in this timeless performance of enthralling physicality.

Pss Pss has been performed over 700 times across five continents to widespread acclaim. Inventive, exciting, and ridiculous, it will keep you laughing long after you leave the theater.

Creative and Production Team

Creators/Performers: Camilla Pessi and Simone Fassari
Director: Louis Spagna
Artistic collaboration and technical management: Valerio Fassari
Lighting Designer: Christoph Siegenthaler

Photo by Otto Moretti

About the Artists

Compagnia Baccalà was born from the union of Simone Fassari (him) and Camilla Pessi (her). They ran away from the circus they were in and created Pss Pss and the rest is history. Winner of 15 international prizes, unique, funny, virtuoso and very charming, Pss Pss has been performed over 700 times in over 50 countries and on all 5 continents to huge acclaim. Poetic, surreal, intimate, and infinitely enjoyable, Pss Pss is a show that transports us, without words, to the seriousness and innocence of childhood.

Louis Spagna lives in Belgium and is a theatre director, musician, accordion builder, teacher, actor and clown. He has a degree in Roman philology and was part of Cirque du Soleil’s first ever tour in 1984. He started his career as a writer and director in 1995 and has created many contemporary circus show for a variety of international companies (including Argonauts, OkidOk and Baccalà Clown). Simplicity and good taste have always been at the heart of his works.

Nerd Out

Happy Hour on the Fringe

Check out our podcast Happy Hour on the Fringe where we chat with some of the most imaginative artists on this plane of existence. In Season 3, we talk with Circadium’s Executive Director Shana Kennedy and first-year student Sierra Rhoades Nicholls about the future of contemporary circus and growth of professional circus in Philly on episode 6. We also spoke with Ben Grinberg, (Artistic Director of Almanac Dance Circus Theatre, instructor at Circadium and Pig Iron, and the curator and host for Test Flights) about his experience coming into contemporary circus after college from a theatre background and how he sees Philly circus progressing. More at


Hand to Hand is presented by PECO–An Exelon Company.

Part of the SPARK: Fringe for Young Audiences series of family-friendly programming.

The SPARK Series is made possible by a leadership gift from the Virginia and Harvey Kimmel Arts Education Fund of the Philadelphia Foundation.

About FringeArts

FringeArts is Philadelphia’s home for contemporary performance, presenting progressive, world-class art that expands the imagination and boldly defies expectation. Our programming exposes audiences to genre-defying dance, theater, and music performances by accomplished and emerging innovators who push the boundaries of art-making and redefine the artistic landscape worldwide. The lineup for our 2019 Fringe Festival this September is now on sale at

Pss Pss  is part of Hand to Hand, a multi-day festival of contemporary circus arts presented by FringeArts and Circadium School of Contemporary Circus. Featuring performances on the FringeArts stage and outside in the Haas Biergarten, Hand to Hand brings remarkable levels of artistry and ability together for a thrilling long weekend of events, perfect for the whole family. There are two more Hand to Hand events coming up this June 28–July 1. We hope to see you there!

Circus Midway
Philadelphia School of Circus Arts
June 30, 11am–3pm

Learn the basics of aerial acrobatics, juggling, plate spinning, and tight wire at this day of free outdoor workshops and performances.

Test Flights
Curated by Ben Grinberg
July 1 at 7pm

The most skilled and expressive jugglers, acrobats, and aerialists in the region present works-in-progress.

Louis Bluver Outdoor Movie Series
Curated by Catherine Preston
Wednesdays at 8:30pm, June 12–August 21
A summer-long themed series of free film screenings in the Haas Biergarten. Coming up this summer:

July: ’90s Throwbacks
7/10 Space Jam
7/17 She’s All That
7/24 Cruel Intentions
7/31 Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion

August: Unconventional Love Stories
8/7 Working Girl
8/14 Dumb and Dumber
8/21 Raising Arizona

Support independent artists participating in the 2019 Fringe Festival by donating to the Independent Artist FestiFund of CultureTrust. This scholarship fund will become grants for artists who need our support to continue their important work! More information on how to donate at:

The Independent Artist FestiFund is a project of CultureTrust Greater Philadelphia

FringeArts Staff + Board


Zach Blackwood, Artistic Producer
Melissa E. Bridge, Director of Finance
Tenara Calem, Audience Engagement Coordinator
Katy Dammers, Artistic Producer
Sarah Dennis, Comptroller
Claire Frisbie, Marketing and Communications Director
Amy Kurzban, General Manager
Keighty McLallen, Director of Production
Mary Menchel, Client Services Manager
Porsche Murray, Office Manager & HR Assistant
Rachel Swartz Robinson, Development Director
April Rose, Fringe Festival Coordinator
Carolyn Schlecker, Senior Adviser Operations
Georgia Schlessman, Technical Director
Raina Searles, Marketing Manager
Jennifer Shorstein, Development Manager
Evelyn Swift Shuker, Master Electrician
Nick Stuccio, President & Producing Director
Hugh Wilikofsky, Institutional Giving Coordinator


Calder McNeil, Marketing & Programming
Madena Kusi, Development
Jack Yang, Finance
Ellie Moonan, Production
Carolyn Carrier, Development
Greer Cohen, Programming
Charisse De Los Santos, Patron Services
Stephanie Seymour, Podcast Production
Jordan Landy, Finance
Sean Andrade, Graphic Design
Seth Boyce, Marketing Information Management


Richard Vague, Chair
Jennifer Bohnenberger, Vice Chair/Secretary
Lisa P. Young, Treasurer
Emily L. Bittenbender
Mark Dichter
Denise DiSimone
Tony P. Forte
David Grasso
David Hoffman
Kevin Kleinschmidt
Kathy Lentini
David Lipson
Tom Lussenhop
Clement D. Pappas
Salem Shuchman
Michael Solomonov
Stephen Starr
Nick Stuccio
Audrey Claire Taichman
Max Tuttleman
Paul Wright

Be Part of the Story

Help FringeArts present world-class, contemporary performing arts that challenge convention and inspire new ways of thinking.